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Michelle Jacobsen, Samuel Morgan (Kaysville, Utah)

“Mrs. “J” as she is known to her students and the community could have retired at the end of 2019-2020 school year. But she didn’t. Her love of teaching and love of her first graders was just too strong. She forged onward, in what would be one of the most difficult years for teachers and students, and parents. 2020-2021 school year began with a hybrid model that was an absolute disaster for students/teachers/parents. Mrs.J not only reformatted every ounce of 25 years of teaching into a digital format for Canvas, but she selflessly gave hundreds of hours of her own time to make it happen, all while helping her husband battle recently diagnosed cancer. She had a long term sub for a couple of weeks, while she cared for him. But during that time, she continued to produce sub plans and teaching material for in-person and remote learning. All of that would be amazing in and of itself, but she is an English-partner teacher in a DLI French program and has double the students of a regular classroom teacher. She knows every student’s favorite color, their favorite animal and how they’re doing with their reading, writing and spelling. She is a “Rock Star” in the world of elementary education. When things got the hardest, she dug in and gave it her 100%, when most would have chosen retirement. She’s taught two of my children over the years. She is still one of their favorite teachers. Her “Fun Fridays”, and other positive classroom rewards and procedures make her extremely popular and gets the results everyone would like. Happy children that love to come to school, love to learn, and love to read. Sadly, with covid-19, many of her fun extra things have had to be eliminated or squished in to 4-day school weeks. She will retire at the end of this school year. She is a real treasure and one of a dying breed of excellent educators.”

Submitted by: Jeff Barlow

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